Yesterday I had the enormous pleasure of going to YA Shot in Uxbridge. Created by the author of House of Shadows - Alexia Casale it was made of 71 UKYA authors, bloggers and vloggers. It was the place to be. I'm still on the book high even a day a later. There was only one reason I went to this book event, two words for you...HOLLY BOURNE!!! As you probably all know by now I am very lucky to have been a part of Holly's books by being quoted in them for the praise of her novel, recently Am I Normal Yet? So this was my opportunity to FINALLY meet her and she is even more awesome, bad-ass and lovelier in person than when I'm speaking to her on Twitter.

One of the panels that she was on was about Trigger Warning and how they should be displayed and raised within literature. The Panel was Alexia Casale, Tanya Byrne, Louisa Reid and (of course) Holly Bourne. As pictured below:


I didn't have a notepad, silly me, but this was my first panel too and I just love the conversation stemmed from one another. So instead I used my notepad app on my phone, how very 21st century of me. Ha. Let me take you to the panel....

TRIGGER WARNINGS - Exploring sensitive issues in ethical ways 

Is there anything you shouldn't cover in YA Fiction? No absolutely not. But in a sensitive issues, yes. (A fine line between them.)
Tanya - It's the responsibility to who is going through them and for us to help them. It's more realistic - an honest response rather than responsible. You can get through it. 
"It's making that call as an author." - Tanya Byrne

Alexia - Damaging to go through the process. Realistic experience to get out of it (the book). When they've manage it and face it. Real growth in the responsibility. Being truthful. 

Holly - Balance between your book and being honest. The world doesn't have to be this way. Holding a mirror to how bad things are. You have the potential to channel the world. It's a harsh look at what it can be. (We should) mess it up a bit (the world). 
"Words inspire Deeds. It's deeds not words." - Holly Bourne

Louisa - A mirror image can be dark - they (the police) are going to do something. Not being afraid  to do something. Telling the truth and being honest. She does speak up (a character in one of her books) There is limits to what you want to write. Find other ways - symbolism. Experience of other books and illusions. 

How do you pick the fine line? 

Holly - Triggers of The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting - basically I followed the guidelines of the charity (that holly works with). Use those in the books. (With Bree she was) vague how she did it (self-harm). So individual. See themselves in Bree. Support between the publishers and offices were there when there is help for those readers who were triggered by it. We were equipped and tripped behind the scenes of the book. It's the exploration of the darker side that can be the fine line. 

Tanya - They've written it for them, Identified with them. The trigger warning is subjective. But we are approachable. We can maintain that line. These are fictional people to an author unlike a reader who can think that this is a real person. We have to be at arms length, not too involved. But we get those emails and they can break your heart. 

Literary contemporary - difference?!

Holly - Don't like labels. It's just a story. Stories. The idea of issues. People have problems. The most interesting people have interesting problems. Labels - Unhelpful waste of time. 
"YA isn't one thing. We write stories with teenagers in them." - Tanya Byrne

Louisa - What are we representing? Beauty that you see. We see beyond that. It's the beauty and horror of the human condition. 

Does there have to be hope?

Tanya - Life is light and shade. Life is about the little moments. Experience life in the moment. It's the beauty of storytelling. Focusing on the life changing moments. Not the other ones. 
"The red carpet at your feet and you just have to look down."

Alexia - Difficulty seeing the world they want. It's bridging that gap with fire. 

Holly - I get all my advice from Stephen King when he says- noticing themes as more of your books comes out. You (or the characters) are learning to love themselves. 
"(The most) Significant relationship is with yourself. It will all fall into place."

 Wow. I didn't realise I'd taken so much from that. I apolgise if it doesn't make sense but I did try to make it so. But some to the things that each author said were beautiful, it just send shivers down. I have to say after I came back from this. It stayed with me. I just finished Asking For It by Lousie O'Neill and saw a different side to it. I understood it more because of this panel. 


YES that is me with Holly. If you haven't already seen it on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. lol. We are indeed having some cheesy snacks. Holly is like a celebrity to me. I was so excited and so nervous at the same time. Holly Bourne is an inspiration to me as well. I love being a blogger, and reading new books, but it's the support and reading those books like Holly's that make it a wonderful journey. I finally met her! You know when someone says to you, what's your favourite book? I go blank because I have far too many. But if someone where to say to me who is you favourite author... my answer would be...Holly Bourne. 

If you haven't read anything by Holly, then you need to get on that ASAP people! Ha. 


  1. This is fabulous, thanks so much for sharing it and yay for our phones right? What would we do without them? :P
    This looks like so much fun, I'm so glad you were able to attend!

  2. That's awesome you got to meet an author you love so much. It sounds like it was a fantastic event and I really like the topic of that panel. :)


  3. I need to add her to my list then!
    Book events are amazing and as you say, you read on the book high for days! Glad you had a blast Emma!

  4. Looks like a lot of fun :) Glad you enjoyed it, Emma. Happy weekend!

  5. Thanks for sharing this recap post with us Emma, I'm glad to see that you had such a great time and finally got to meet Holly! And I know what you mean, meeting my favourite authors can be such a daunting time, I know I get pretty nervous around them too!


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